Cuomo: Best of luck to NY’s runners, fencers, rugby hookers in Rio

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants New Yorkers to expend an extra cheer for the state’s Olympians.

“Every two years, Americans come together to cheer for our finest athletes as they compete on the world’s largest stage, the Olympic Games,” the governor said in a statement Thurday. “At this year’s Summer Games in Rio, 30 world-class participants from across this great state will be competing. As New Yorkers, we are proud of all of our Olympic athletes and their extraordinary perseverance and strength. At a time when our country wrestles with division and intolerance, we are unified in our admiration of the achievements of these athletes. The Olympics provide more than gold and glory; they remind us of the strength of our diversity and the triumph of the human spirit.

Cuomo noted that Lake Placid has hosted the winter games twice, in 1932 and the “Miracle on Ice” year 1980. The only other communities to have hosted two winter games in the history of the modern Olympics at Innsbruck in Austria and St. Moritz in Switzerland.

New York City made a bid to host the 2012 Olympic games, but lost out to London.

“On behalf of all New Yorkers, I wish these athletes the best of luck, and know that you make us all proud,” Cuomo said.

Here’s the governor list of 2016 Olympic athletes from New York State:

1. Carmelo Anthony – Basketball Forward – New York, New York
2. Sue Bird – Basketball Guard – Syosset, New York
3. Anita Alvarez – Synchro Duet/Team – Buffalo, New York
4. Matt Anderson – Indoor Volleyball Outside Hitter – West Seneca, New York
5. Ryan Carlyle – Rugby Hooker – West Nyack, New York
6. Miles Chamley-Watson – Fencing Foil – New York, New York
7. Tina Charles – Basketball Center – Queens, New York
8. Crystal Dunn – Soccer Midfield – Rockville Centre, New York
9. Melissa Gonzalez – Field Hockey Midfielder – Mohegan Lake, New York
10. Megan Guarnier – Cycling Road Race – Glens Falls, New York
11. Natasha Hastings – Track and Field 4x400m – Queens, New York
12. Daryl Homer – Fencing Saber – Bronx, New York
13. Molly Huddle – Track and Field 10,000m – Elmira, New York
14. Alisa Kano – Gymnastics Rhythmic group – New York, New York
15. Allie Long – Soccer Midfield – Northport, New York
16. Beezie Madden – Equestrian Jumping – Cazenovia, New York
17. Miranda Melville – Track and Field 20k Race Walk – Rochester, New York
18. Maria Michta-Coffey – Track and Field 20k Race Walk – Nesconset, New York
19. Dalilah Muhammad – Track and Field 400m Hurdles – Jamaica, New York
20. Meghan Musnicki – Rowing Women’s Eight – Naples, New York
21. Lia Neal – Swimming 4x100m Free – Brooklyn, New York
22. Nzingha Prescod – Fencing Foil – Brooklyn, New York
23. Emily Regan – Rowing Women’s Eight – Buffalo, New York
24. Henrik Rummel – Rowing Men’s Four – Pittsford, New York
25. Kristen Shaldybin – Gymnastics Rhythmic Group – Brooklyn, New York
26. Deajah Stevens – Track and Field 200m – Bayside, New York
27. Breanna Stewart – Basketball Forward/Center – North Syracuse, New York
28. Jenn Suhr – Track and Field Pole Vault – Fredonia, New York
29. McLain Ward – Equestrian Jumping – Brewster, New York
30. Rudy Winkler – Track and Field Men’s Hammer Throw – Ithaca, New York

The TU has delved into the athletes with local Capital Region connections in the lead up to the games. This from Jennifer Gish’s July profile of Glens Falls native Gaurnier:

Guarnier graduated as the valedictorian of Glens Falls High in 2003. By then she had been swimming competitively for 13 years. When she went to Middlebury College in Vermont, she planned to swim there, too, until a shoulder injury kept her in physical therapy and away from her studies more than the die-hard scholar liked. (Her degree is in neuroscience, and whenever she retires from racing, she wants to pursue her medical degree/Ph.d in the same field.)

She had done a few triathlons with her uncle when she was in high school and entered a couple more in college, where the bike stage was always her weakest. She says she usually came out of the water ahead of both the men and the women, and she thought it was so cool to be cycling behind the pace car in the bike stage — until that lead quickly vanished.

Then someone invited her to try a road race with the collegiate team, and she loved it.

“What I loved about cycling is it’s pretty much the antithesis of swimming. In swimming, you’re looking at the same black line for hours on end the same amount of time every day, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in upstate New York or Florida — it’s the same black line,” she says. “With cycling, every ride is different. Even if you’re on the same training ride, the weather is different. That’s what I fell in love with — how every day was something new and challenging. In bike racing, you have the peloton, and there’s tactics, and there’s drafting, and there’s climbing terrain, wind, rain, all of it. There’s so many dynamic little things going on in a bike race. I call it an artform to learn it. It takes a lot of years.”

Other Olympic athletes with local connections include Winkler, who graduated from Averill Park High School; Grace Claxton, a Puerto Rico native who attends UAlbany (and is the school’s first woman Olympian), Sara True, a Cooperstown native; and Nick Delpopolo, who moved to Glenville when he was 12 to train.





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